2010 feast for TV viewers

2010-01-18 00:00

WHEN are therapists crazier than their patients? When they’re the stars of SABC2’s newest series, State of Mind, which starts at 7.30 pm on Wednesday.

The show — which stars Lili Taylor, Derek Riddell, Mido Hamada, Devon Gummersall, Kevin Chamberlin and Lolita Davidovich — centres around the people who work at New Haven Psychiatric Associates, a rambling Victorian house-turned-office building for a group of therapists, a newly minted lawyer and a wisecracking office manager, all of whom have personal problems that rival those of their eclectic and offbeat clients.

In the opening episode, psychiatrist, Dr. Ann Bellowes (Taylor), finds her life at a crossroads after she catches her husband, a fellow psychiatrist, cheating with the couples’ marriage counsellor. With her personal life suddenly crumbling, Ann begins to feel that she might be in as much need of psychiatric help as her patients.

State of Mind is one of several new shows airing on South African television screens this week. Other highlights include:

UGLY BETTY

New to SABC3 is the hugely successful American comedy, Ugly Betty, which will be screened Mondays to Wednesdays at 9 pm. It follows the daily life of Betty Suarez (America Ferrera), a promising college graduate from a struggling Latino family in Queens.

After being rejected for a job at Meade Publications in Manhattan based solely on her appearance, company CEO Bradford Meade spots her and hires her as an executive assistant to his playboy son Daniel (Eric Mabius), the newly-installed editor-in-chief at MODE magazine.

Bradford is primarily motivated by his wish for Daniel to stop bedding his assistants, particularly after catching him having sex in his office with one potential applicant.

Both outsiders in their own way, Daniel and Betty form an unlikely team, each helping the other navigate the choppy waters of New York’s fashion scene.

 

CARTE BLANCHE

Over on M-Net, fans of Carte Blanche will be able to watch two spin-offs of the popular documentary show — Carte Blanche Medical Show, hosted by Devi Sankaree Govender, at 7 pm tonight and Carte Blanche Consumer Show, hosted by Bongani Bingwa, which airs at 7 pm on Thursday.

In tonight’s Carte Blanche Medical Show episode they look at technology that has restored sight to people who haven’t seen in years, and how local doctors saved Baby Hope, the smallest baby ever born in the country.

FLASHFORWARD

Starting tomorrow at 8.30 pm on M-Net is Flashforward, in which a team of Los Angeles FBI agents, spearheaded by Mark Benford (Ralph Fiennes), begin the process of determining why everyone on earth blacked out for two minutes and seventeen seconds, during which they saw a glimpse of their future.

Benford contributes a unique perspective on the investigation — in his flash forward, he saw the results of six months of investigation that he had done on the event, and he and his team use those clues to recreate the investigation. Meanwhile, personal revelations contained within the flash forwards occupy the personal lives of the principal characters.

STARGATE UNIVERSE

Another treat for sci-fi and fantasy fans is Stargate Universe (SGU), which starts on M-Net Action (DStv channel 106) at 7 pm on Wednesday.

The latest instalment of the popular Stargate franchise follows the adventures of a multi-national exploration team, which is attacked when they are about to unlock one of the final mysteries of the Stargate.

In the heat of battle, these civilians and non-combatant military personnel try to escape back to Earth, but instead find themselves thrust to the far side of the universe aboard an ancient, unmanned ship called Destiny.

CRANFORD

For fans of period drama, BBC Entertainment (DStv channel 120) will be screening Cranford at 9.30 pm on Tuesdays. Starring Judi Dench, Imelda Staunton and Michael Gambon, the series is based on three Elizabeth Gaskell novels — Cranford, My Lady Ludlow and Mr Harrison’s Confessions — and follows the small absurdities and major tragedies in the lives of the people of Cranford during one extraordinary year.

As the railway pushes its way relentlessly towards the town from northern industrial city Manchester, bringing fears of migrant workers and the breakdown of law and order, the arrival of handsome new doctor, Frank Harrison, from London, causes a stir.

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